Cleveland State Baseball Sweeps Southwest Tennessee

Monday, March 31, 2014 - by Bryan Grisham
A long road trip to the west coast of Tennessee was just what the doctor ordered as the Cleveland State baseball team ran their win streak to five straight with a three-game TCCAA Region VII weekend sweep of the Southwest Tennessee Saluqis.
 
The Cougars (18-15, 8-10) used a four-run outburst in the first inning and a complete game pitching performance from Bobby Towne to start the series out on the right foot on Saturday afternoon with a 6-1 win and then completed the successful road trip with a sweep of the twinbill on Sunday coming from behind in both games to post a 5-4 win in game one and take a 4-2 decision in game two.
 
"It's always good to win on the road and to get a sweep is exactly what we needed," state Cougar coach Mike Policastro. "We got three good pitching performances, from Bobby on Saturday and Jake and Josh on Sunday. All three did a good job and we got some hits when we needed them. The sweep puts us right back in the conference race and with three weekends left any thing can happen."
 
Two Saluqi errors and a single loaded the bases for the visitors in the top of the first while a third miscue pushed a run across. Dalton Rogers then doubled in a pair of runs and Evan Speicher finished the inning by lifting a fly ball to right field to push a run home for a 4-0 lead.
 
The Cougars tacked on a run in the fourth on a single from Jammer Strickland and another in the seventh on a passed ball to pad their lead. The Generals avoided the shutout with a run in their half of the fourth as Michael Ince tripled and Sam Seaton singled him home.
 
Towne (5-2) was in control the whole way as he tossed nine strong innings allowing just the one run and scattering four hits along the way to pick up the win for the Cougars. Corbin Carter suffered the loss for the Saluqis.
 
The Saluqis took an early 4-0 lead in the first game on Sunday as Vince Hoyt doubled in a run in the third and Ryan Bell singled in a run in the fourth.
 
An error and a plunked batter came back to haunt the home team in the top of the fifth as Rogers belted a three-run dinger to slice the lead to one run, 4-3.
 
Zach Janes singled in the tying run in the sixth and the Cougars took their first lead of the game in the seventh as Wright Hackett singled and eventually moved around and scored on a grounder from Cole Baxley for a 5-4 Cougar lead.
 
The Saluqis put the winning run on base in the bottom of the seventh, but Kegan Frederick came on and put out the fire by recording the final two outs to secure the win.
 
Jake Wright picked up the win for the Cougars while Frederick got the save and Seth McClemore took the loss in relief of Justin Kemp for Southwest Tennessee.
 
The home team jumped on top to start game two with a single run in the first frame and another in the second. Seaton singled in a run while Josh Cedeno pushed a run across with a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 Saluqi lead.
 
The Cougars got those two runs back and added two more in the top of the fourth with a four-run outburst. Rogers once again was right in the middle of the rally as he tripled in the first run of the frame. Chase Shaw then singled in a run and later scored on a single from Chris Caffrey. Caffrey later stayed in a rundown just long enough for another run to cross the plate as the visitors took a 4-2 lead.
 
That would be all the run support that Cougar starter Josh Morgan (5-3) would require as he tossed seven strong innings allowing only three hits and fanning seven along the way to pick up the win. Justin Skinner took the loss for the Saluqis.
 
The Cougars will travel to the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky on Wednesday for a pair of games.

Mocs Football Picked To Win Socon

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga put a league-high 10 student-athletes on the preseason All-Southern Conference Football Team, picked by the league coaches and released as part of SoCon Media Day.  The Mocs were also the top choice by the coaches and media to win the SoCon title in 2016.  Senior defensive end Keionta Davis is the coaches' selection for SoCon ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Is Whale Watching A Sport?

My wife Shelia and I spent practically the entire month of July on the road; literally. First, the annual Smith family trek to Ponce Inlet, Florida, then a few days after returning from the beach we flew to the other side of the country to board a cruise ship to Alaska. This was my first visit to the "Land of the  Midnight  Sun" and boy was I ever glad I went. While ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Whiskey Company To Construct Large Distillery At Former Site Of Newton Chevrolet

The Chattanooga Whiskey Company has begun construction on a larger production distillery in the former Newton Chevrolet property at the corner of MLK Boulevard and Riverfront Parkway near the Tennessee River. Once fully operational, the Riverfront Parkway facility will be capable of producing upwards of 14 (53-gallon) barrels per day, making it one of the largest craft bourbon ... (click for more)

Beck Upset By Criticism Of Late WWTA Director Cleveland Grimes In WWTA Analysis; Boyd Won't Rewrite 57-Page Report

County Commissioner Greg Beck said it was inappropriate for fellow Commissioner Tim Boyd to include articles critical of the late Cleveland Grimes in a 57-page report on the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority. He said, "Criticizing a dead man - I don't know if that's appropriate. If that's Christianity, let me off the wagon." Saying the report should ... (click for more)

Judge Steelman Was Unfairly Criticized In Handling Of School Bus Driver Rape Case - And Response

We are blessed to have freedom of speech in our society, but I am always amazed at the number of folks who voice such strong antagonistic opinions about things without any apparent first-hand knowledge.   As any who wish to criticize the system should know, people get arrested and charged for criminal offenses every day.  The ultimate charge and penalty which results ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote For Rhonda Thurman

After studying the Hamilton County School Board quite harshly during the last seven most-tumultuous months in its history, it is only proper that I share my belief that Rhonda is its Most Valuable Player. Four of the school board’s nine members are up for re-election, with Rhonda facing capable opponents in Jason Moses and Dr. Patti Skates in District 1, but let’s never forget that ... (click for more)